With an increasingly mobile workforce, few workers stay in one place long. That means we need faster, more decentralized communication connections. OpenMarket and Portio Research recently produced a report that says short message service (SMS) tools may be an overlooked but valuable tool for keeping in touch, and not just with employees.
The OpenMarket/Portio Research report, titled “Engaging with Enterprise SMS,” looks at not only the challenges businesses face in keeping in contact, but also how to look for the right tools to address the issues that come up. A webinar scheduled for December 2 at 9:00 AM Pacific will offer some of the information in a more compact form.
Portio Research's managing director, Karl Whitfield, notes that more people use text messages than watch television, so putting text messaging to work can not only be useful in keeping in touch at the office, but also connecting with customers. However, Whitfield also points out that there are points to consider before engaging in text messaging as a breed of marketing. Whitfield describes “...inherent integration and fragmentation challenges...” as a big part of problems businesses face when using it. Since SMS is “the great equalizer,” Whitfield notes, it's the one tool most everyone is using already, and can be a big step toward keeping everyone on track.
Other issues can be addressed with the right partner. The ability to use sender ID tools and foreign character sets should be top of the list, along with access to international markets. Protections against mobile spam are also important to preserve a company's reputation, and the ability to use two-way communications helps drive engagement with any marketing uses. Finally, look for a system that will work well with legacy systems, to ensure the best operation.
The OpenMarket/Portio Research study drives one key point home: almost everyone has some kind of text message capability, and that can make a huge difference in communications of all sorts. Smartphone saturation assures that almost anyone can be reached by text, so being able to work on a global basis allows for the broadest reach of contacts. Using real time communications tools like two-way messaging helps build engagement; whether the conversation is going on within the business or outside of it, being able to start a conversation means that the message going out is more likely to take hold.